For all the politicos out there, we are breathing a sigh of relief that the 2022 election is over, but it’s no time to slow down! The 2023 Minnesota legislative session is right around the corner, and for associations, organizations, businesses, nonprofits and lobbyists looking to have an impact on new laws and policies next year, the time to start planning is now.

As a person who spent nearly a decade at the legislature and even longer in Minnesota politics, here are some things to consider going into next session.

Get to Know New Leadership.

Now that the dust has settled on the election, both Republicans and Democrats have chosen their leaders for 2023. Of note, three of the four caucuses elected new leaders this year – only Speaker Melissa Hortman is returning to her leadership post for the House DFL. Senate Democrats tapped Senator Kari Dziedzic as their new majority leader, Senate Republicans chose Senator Mark Johnson as their new minority leader, and House Republicans elected Representative Lisa Demuth as their new minority leader.

With new leaders come new leadership styles and new priorities, so understanding leaders’ districts, legislative record, and more can help tap into effective strategy to influence policy.

Also of note is newly selected committee chairs, as well as the dozens of new incoming freshman members who will change the dynamics at the legislature and within their respective caucuses.

How Much Money is Out There for Your Priorities?

Last session, $9.25 billion was left on the bottom line and there will be an updated budget forecast in February which could see that number grow even bigger. That is a sizeable surplus, and many will be looking for a piece of that pie, whether it’s funding for new or existing programs or for tax relief. I would also expect that a bonding bill passes this session meaning many local communities will be advocating for infrastructure and local project funding as well.

What Does One-Party Control Mean for You?

When looking at what policies your organization would like to pass, stop or influence this session, understanding the political make up is also critical.

Last session, there was a DFL Governor, GOP Senate and DFL House. That meant that bipartisan compromise was necessary to accomplish change and pass a budget. Many things viewed as too partisan and left on the table.

Now, voters have put the DFL back in full control of state government, and DFL friends and allies will be lining up to push for their policy agenda next session.

How Can a Communications and Public Affairs Plan Complement Your Efforts?

From education to health care to agriculture, there are numerous competing organizations, voices and priorities at the Capitol. How do you break through the noise?

Having a comprehensive public affairs and communications plan can make the difference. That means building a coalition, elevating your voice in the media, building public awareness and support for your cause through strategic storytelling, social media campaigns, press conferences, and more.

Strategic planning now will put you ahead of the pack, and a well-thought-out public affairs plan can be the difference between success and failure in 2023.

K2 & Co. is a full public affairs and public relations firm with meaningful experience helping clients influence public opinion and politicians. Reach out now about how we can help you going into next session!

– Chelsea